CLASSES - Permaculture Design Certification Courses

Food Forests For All

December 6th, 7th and 13th
9am - 4pm - $150

This dynamic workshop is one of our favorite offerings. We will teach you the skills needed to design and plant your own food forest. This can be scaled up or down to fit any site from residential property to large scale farm sites with acerage or anything in between. You will help us design a guild of plants that will support each other and fit the exact location they are to be planted in. You will tour two existing food forests at different stages of maturity. We will plant our design on a 10 acre permaculture farm with large scale earthworks already installed. Come learn to build the soil, heal the land and grow food in a symbiotic relationship through food forestry!

Day 1, December 6th: Whole Life learning Center in South Austin. Tour the existing food forest planted at our first FFFA Workshop in 2012. Learn how a food forest works and key elements for designing a successful guild of plants. Passive rain water catchment and storage in the soil through earthworks. Site analasys, installation phasing and maintenance.

Day 2, December 7th: Hill Country Natives in Leander Texas (north of Austin). Tour the existing food forest that is now reaching maturity and nursery owned and operated by Mitch Mitchamore. Design your guild for the food forest, checking to make sure it will interact well with the guilds that surround it. Open forum questions and answer, collaborate with class mates to further your understanding of all things food forest and how they can apply to different sites and circumstances.

Day 3, December 13th: Colby Stoker's farm in Lockhart Texas (South of Austin). Tour the extensive earthworks including 3 ponds and 4,000+ linear feet of full size berms and swales. Amend the soil, plant your guild, mulch and install irrigation.

This year we're changeing the structure to better accommodate advanced and beginner students. At times, we will break into two groups so that those who want to learn the basics can and those who want to get into the nitty gritty fine points can do that too.

For scholarships and trade agreements, email



Austin Permaculture Guild

September 20th - November 22nd
Onsite workshops available to the public

Class meets 9:00am – 5:45pm each day at the Whole Life Learning Center; arrive anytime after 8:30 to get settled in. (NOTE: If you can’t make all 10 Saturdays, don’t worry — you can make up the missed days at any of our future “10 Saturdays” courses for no extra charge.)

This course includes classroom instruction from Caroline Riley and Kirby Fry, hands-on projects (including your site design project), presentations by guest instructors, and field trips. For more details about the content, scroll down this page. We look forward to having you in our class!

Sept. 20- Day 1: Introduction to Permaculture Ethics & Principles, Sector Analysis, Zones of Use
Sept. 27- Day 2:
Climate, Patterns in Nature, & Natural Regions of Texas
Oct. 4- Day 3:
Soil, Earthworks, Trees and their energy transactions
Oct. 11- Day 4: Water-ponds, aquaculture & dams and Design Methods
Oct. 18- Day 5: Gardens & Zone 1 Design
Oct. 25- Day 6: Trees & Perennial Food Forest Design, Zones 2 & 3
Nov. 1- Day 7: The Built Environment & Energy and Grey & Black Water
Nov. 8- Day 8: Wild Spaces, Animal Systems, Design Workshop-1
Nov. 15- Day 9: Urban Permaculture, Invisible Structures, Design Workshop-2
Nov. 22- Day 10: Design Presentations/Wrap-Up

Click the button below for more details and registration.


What students are saying


"I thank you, thank you, thank you for the magical experience participating in the Food Forest workshop this past weekend, where we lovingly fulfilled the dream of a Food Forest at the school. I've learned a lot about myself and what it means to be part of and vital connection with our Earth community. You and Michael are excellent educators/facilitators and have been managing this workshop very well; working well with group dynamics, fantastic specific and practical background information, and lots of fun and meaningful learnin'."

Food Forests For All participant

“Learning permaculture from Caroline was a life changing experience. I've gained a better understanding of how to live in harmony with the natural world. The class covered topics from gardening to rainwater harvesting to building with earth-friendly materials, and all with a perspective of working with instead of against nature to get the job done.”  

~Ann Jensen 
ACC PDC graduate